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tailless-manx-catThe Manx cat is a very adaptable, affectionate, high-energy breed that is known to get along well with children and other pets.

History of the Manx

The Manx cat is a domesticated breed that derived from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. This breed has a dominant gene that is responsible for a natural mutation of its tail. Because the gene is dominant, it was easily spread amongst the cats on the island. The original cats on the island were shorthaired, but when the Vikings came and took over the Isle of Man, they brought longhaired forest cats that integrated with the native Manx, therefore introducing the longhaired gene. The Manx was one of the founding breeds in the Cat Fancier's Association in 1906 and one of the first show cat breeds in Great Britain.

Breed Characteristics

The Manx cat is a broad, stocky, and solid body-typed cat. They typically have a dense coat, whether they are long or short haired. Their bones are larger than the average domestic cat and tend to have broad jowls.

Males usually weigh around 10-12 pounds and the females 8-10 pounds. Their hind legs are longer than the front, making their back end slightly more predominant and allowing them to rapidly accelerate. There are numerous colors of the Manx coat, but these colors typically exclude chocolate and lavender. Pointed, ticked tabby, or any combination of these colors with white are most common.

All Manx contain a gene for a full tail – even the one's lacking a tail altogether. The four common terms used to describe their tail length are, "Rumpy," "Rrumpy-Riser," "Stumpy," and "Longy."

Rumpy Manx are completely tailless and ideal for showing in American competitions. The name Riser refers to a cat with a cartilage-like stump that mimics the start of a tail. When being shown, the judge will stroke the cat's back and it is ideal that the stump does not stop the judge's hand. Stumpy cats have a tail at any length, usually a short curved tail. A Longy has a normal tail and these cats are typically less popular in competitions.

Because the tailless gene is dominant, breeding a Rumpy with a Rumpy for three generations can be lethal. The tail gene is necessary to decrease genetic deformity.

Common Health Problems

Because of the unique tail on the Manx, there is always a potential for spinal defects that can leave the cat with problems urinating, defecating, and sometimes even neurological issues.

It is also imperative to be aware of what is referred to as Manx Syndrome. This is a fatal defect caused by the same trait that is desired for a typical Manx tail. Manx syndrome will present itself anywhere from birth to four months of age. Reputable breeders often use a combination of cats that will deter this from occurring.

When adopting any specific breed, it is always important to speak with the breeder to guarantee a healthy animal.